Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Carp hurler Daichi Osera, Dragons slugger Zoilo Almonte earn monthly MVP awards for first time

Eagles pitcher Takayuki Kishi, Hawks star Yuki Yanagita receive Pacific League accolades

Kyodo

Hiroshima Carp right-hander Daichi Osera and Chunichi Dragons outfielder Zoilo Almonte both won their first monthly MVP awards in the Central League, NPB announced on Thursday.

Fifth-year pitcher Osera went the distance in two of four starts he made last month, winning all four games with an ERA of 2.03. Almonte, who is in his first season in the league, batted .371 with a Central League-high 36 hits.

In the Pacific League, Takayuki Kishi, who moved from the Seibu Lions to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2017, claimed his first monthly MVP honors with Rakuten and his third overall. Meanwhile, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks outfielder Yuki Yanagita won for the fifth time.

Kishi went 3-0 with one shutout in five starts in May, his 37 strikeouts and 1.35 ERA both best in the league. Yanagita also had league highs with a .387 batting average, 41 hits and 23 RBIs.

“I’m surprised. (I owe) my manager and coaches for trusting me and allowing me to pitch nine innings,” said Kishi, who threw a three-hit shutout against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters on May 2.